It was 1975 and Lony Rockafella was doing crystal ball and tarot card readings in Kitsilano by the Naam cafe. He had been on Galiano Island in a hippie commune for the past year, living the simple life – playing music, growing food and making instruments – and had returned to Vancouver for a short period. Sitting there, he saw a delivery truck of organic bananas and set his mind to creating a sustainable lifestyle selling the highest quality produce to communities that needed it.
Lony and his wife Johanna and a growing collective of like-minded people had already been trucking up and down the Crows Nest Highway bringing fresh fruit from the Okanagan to the coast, but this was the start of something bigger. They went down to California and learned from those spearheading the organic movement in a much larger scale. Returning to BC, they set up a warehouse and began shipping organic produce from California, dispersing it amongst the islands and local communities, quickly becoming the largest organic wholesaler in Vancouver.
The Mobile Market took off with demand. Lony and Johanna, still residing on Galiano most of the time, set up a drop-ship warehouse at an abandoned motel in Nanaimo. With banana-ripening rooms each at their own temperature and ample storage space, the Mobile Market truck brought fresh produce to stops all along Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and to Haida Gwaii.
In 1978, the motel sold and Lony and Johanna purchased the 10 acres of property that Daystar is still on today. The Mobile Market continued feeding the islands, until 1980 when they settled down to start a family. Starting with a small cabin on the back of the property, they parked the Mobile Market truck and started selling from the corner.
By 1986, the brick and mortar Market was coming to life, Lony and Johanna had three daughters, and life was full. Year by year, foundation was laid, more and more walls were built to house not just produce and coolers but now grocery items, bread, dairy and more.
Build & Beautify
The Cafe opens its doors. Amazing lunches and dinners and parties served up to the community. The Daystar Market & Cafe as a whole complete the island hub of community and nourishment that continues on to this day.